Do you trim your Facebook friend list once casual acquaintance relationships end? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 10-02-2013, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not taking about falling-outs, or anything dramatic like that. But, as a hypothetical example, say you friended 8 fellow PTA moms while you all served on the PTA together, and then your child changed schools. And say your child wasn't friends with any of their kids, and although you liked the other moms fine you only clicked with 2 of them.

Would you unfriend the other 6, or keep them in your friend list indefinitely? Why or why not?

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#2 of 18 Old 10-02-2013, 06:34 PM
 
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I have trimmed Facebook a lot. I mostly only keep people who I to some extent want to know what they're up to. So about 98% of the people from high school are off now, since there were very few of them I cared much about and I didn't interact with most of them. I've kept people from my graduate program who I wasn't particularly close to because I do kind of idly want to know how they're doing in their careers. I also have dropped most people who never, ever post, unless I particularly like them and would like to see their post if they ever make one. 

 

In the situation you describe, I think it would also depend on how much you interact with these people as a group on Facebook. If you're Facebook friends with Courtney and Melissa and Angie, and Angie was the only one you really felt you "clicked" with, but she's still Facebook friends with Courtney and Melissa and they comment on each other's posts all the time, it might be a little weird if you drop Courtney and Melissa and they subsequently see you commenting on Angie's page, realize they haven't seen an update from you in a while, and realize you're not still friends. So I might possibly keep them for that reason (although I'd also like to assume that we're all adults and they'd probably understand if that happened, but I'd probably come down on the side of it being easier to keep them). If these moms aren't really friends with each other, I definitely wouldn't worry. 

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#3 of 18 Old 10-02-2013, 10:27 PM
 
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It's funny you should ask because I JUST did the exact thing this evening.  I had friended some PTA parents and classroom moms last year. We moved out of state. There were only two out of 12 of the parents that I really had much interaction with so I deleted the rest.  I doubt they even noticed.

 

I keep my FB friend list pretty lean. 

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#4 of 18 Old 10-04-2013, 07:34 AM
 
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I trim occasionally.  But I really should trim more.  I know I have people on there that I really have nothing to do with anymore.  Now, the harder part, is the family I'd love to trim, but can't because too many people would be angry about it.  That's why I filter, filter, filter!

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#5 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 06:12 AM
 
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i dont trim. i have a really hard time trimming. to me its like i am rejecting them. its not logical and it doesnt make sense - but i just cant unfriend them. 

 

however i dont post personal things on fb except rarely. so i kinda dont see their pages either. sometimes its nice for me to click on thier names and see what's going on with their lives. i dont mind if they take ME off but i cant do it myself. 


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#6 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the answers! Facebook is a weird animal to me -- so many of the typical, IRL etiquette stuff seems to apply differently when it comes to FB.

For instance, in the "olden" days when email lists were the only convenient way to get in touch with lots of people simultaneously, I would compile a list of class parents, or sports team parents, and when the school year or sports season ended I would simply delete the list, just keeping the contact info of the few people I intended to get together with outside of school/sports. It wasn't a rejection at all, it was just that the list had served its purpose. I love a clean slate -- I delete old emails regularly, clean up my computer desktop all the time, etc., so cleaning up contact lists was just an extension of that.

But now with FB, where instead of connecting with a group of people for a specific, temporary purpose, it says that you're "friends" with them, and where if you delete them they could find out (by noticing you're gone from their friend list, if they ever happened to check), everything suddenly changes. So my neatnik impulse to clean out my "friends" list by trimming out people with whom I don't anticipate further contact is now tempered by my worry that their feelings will be hurt should they ever realize that I did that. Ugh.

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#7 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 11:13 AM
 
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I do clean out my friends list from time to time. There were some childhood friends or people I babysat as kids that asked to be friends. It was nice touching base with them. But after that, if there has been no interaction for a year, I unfriend them. The problem with FB is that any friend of a friend can see your status updates if your mutual friend commented on it (even if you have your settings on friends only it pops up on that sidebar thing on the right.) And so many people don't even set their own profiles to be private. It's not that I post anything that anyone can't read (when your friends include conservative relatives, exboyfriends, college classmates who are now teachers, and fellow homeschool parents, you tend to be diplomatic in what you post) but I still wan't the delusion of some control and privacy.

 

The groups are good for situations like yours @limabean. You can start a group for the class parents or sports team parents. I'm on a few groups for homeschooling. It's nice because I like my life more compartmentalized that the one big bad poorly planned party that is Facebook. Their groups help keep everyone in their categories. I'm friendly with all the other homeschool moms but I don't necessarily like being FB friends with people I see IRL. I like it for keeping in touch with people I don't see. 


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#8 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

The groups are good for situations like yours @limabean
. You can start a group for the class parents or sports team parents. I'm on a few groups for homeschooling. It's nice because I like my life more compartmentalized that the one big bad poorly planned party that is Facebook. Their groups help keep everyone in their categories. I'm friendly with all the other homeschool moms but I don't necessarily like being FB friends with people I see IRL. I like it for keeping in touch with people I don't see. 

I agree. When I'm in charge of something, I don't even use FB to communicate with other group members, I use Shutterfly or just an email list, depending on the situation. Like this year I'm room mom for DS's class, so I set up a Shutterfly site so we can have a calendar, share pictures, have sign-up sheets, etc. -- much more useful than FB, IMO.

But sometimes when other people run a group they'll decide on FB as a means of communication. My bunco group is an example of this. There are 12 of us, but over the years some members have left and some new members have joined -- there's always a bit of flux in and out. I'm close friends with several women in the group, but there are some I never really got to know, who live in a different town and aren't even part of the bunco group anymore, and it's just extremely unlikely that I'll ever see them again. Now, I don't dislike them in the slightest, but ... I really don't care to know what they're up to every day, either. I know I could just hide their newsfeed, but the compulsive cleaner-outer in me would like to just eliminate them from my friends list altogether.

Now that I think about it, the bunco group is a Facebook Group. Does that mean I don't have to friend them to see their posts within the group? I always thought that if we weren't friends, then any messages they post would go to my "other" inbox, but maybe that doesn't happen if you're both part of the same group? If that's true, you may have just solved my problem 4evermom!
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#9 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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Now that I think about it, the bunco group is a Facebook Group. Does that mean I don't have to friend them to see their posts within the group? I always thought that if we weren't friends, then any messages they post would go to my "other" inbox, but maybe that doesn't happen if you're both part of the same group? If that's true, you may have just solved my problem 4evermom!

No, you don't need to be friends for in-group conversation that everyone in the group can see. The other inbox would be used if they pm'ed you though.

 

ETA: I think you can set up your friends in different lists too and only have specific people see certain posts. Not sure how that works though.


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#10 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

No, you don't need to be friends for in-group conversation that everyone in the group can see. The other inbox would be used if they pm'ed you though.

Thank you so much, that really helps!

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#11 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
 

The problem with FB is that any friend of a friend can see your status updates if your mutual friend commented on it (even if you have your settings on friends only it pops up on that sidebar thing on the right.) 

 

That's not actually true. Only posts that are "friends of friends" or "public" show up in the ticker. 

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#12 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 04:10 PM
 
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Even if that's the case, erigeron, I don't want my conservative aunt seeing my exboyfriend's status and my reply, because I commented on it and his settings are for friends of a friend.

 

Right, Limabean, you'll all see anything posted on the group page and receive notifications that there is a post on the group (if you don't turn off notifications.) Posts on the group will show up on your newsfeed. But if an individual sends you a pm, it will go in the "other" inbox. People on my groups just post "check your other inbox" to let you know they sent you something that they didn't post on the group (like their phone number or address if it's not a small private group.)


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#13 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 04:12 PM
 
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I cut people only if they give me reason to distrust them with access to what I post. I hide people whose posts I just don't want to see for whatever reason. 


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#14 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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It's completely strange how many people have their settings on public. A friend of a friend just let the world know she's home alone because her husband is away and her child is out with someone. I know her name. Her profile tells me her town and I can google the exact address. I could be a psycho at her door in 10 minutes. I'm not particularly paranoid but I don't trust all my friends to only be FB friends with completely harmless people even though that's likely the case. Especially when people confess how they are hesitant to unfriend people they hardly know!

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#15 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 04:22 PM
 
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ETA: I think you can set up your friends in different lists too and only have specific people see certain posts. Not sure how that works though.

I think they are about to do away with that option.


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#16 of 18 Old 10-12-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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Even if that's the case, erigeron, I don't want my conservative aunt seeing my exboyfriend's status and my reply, because I commented on it and his settings are for friends of a friend.

 

Oh, yeah, totally. It's still an issue if your friends keep their pages opened up and you comment on their status. But on your own page, if it's friends it really is friends--your friends' friends are not seeing your stuff in their ticker. 

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#17 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 05:18 AM
 
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A long while ago I decided I wanted to really "know" and stay in touch with everyone on my friend list and I did what you're describing. What I found was some people re-friended and that choice just didn't feel good so I decided to allow any friend requests but put everyone I didn't want to be close with on this super restricted group that has like 5 things visible. That seems a good compromise. 

 

Right re: privacy - FB has a feature that you can use that allows you to see your page as someone, whether that be "public" (a good thing to check from time to time) or from one of our restricted friends...or, like, your mother-in-law. ;-)  It's a good practice to get into checking from time to time. 

 

I'm looking at being employed as an educator in the next 2 years so have already started backing up some of my web stuff to be sure that everything is child friendly. ;-)  

Internet privacy is *no joke*.  As an experiment I tried to see how far I could dig into someone's life with pretty basic information...SCARY. I recommend everyone try it on themselves to be aware.  


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#18 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ICM: That's my current strategy too, sort of, only mine is more like "let anyone friend me, but post so infrequently that they'll be bored to tears by my page." orngbiggrin.gif I hardly ever use FB at all -- I'm really only on it because I belong to a few groups that use it heavily for communication. So I'm not worried about what anyone can find out about me. But I agree that some people are waaaaay too free with their personal info -- I'm astounded at the stuff I could so easily find out about friends-of-friends if I really wanted to.

Years ago I was super selective about who I would friend (because I did post pics and stuff), but it was too stressful worrying about hurt feelings, so I deleted my account altogether. Then a couple years ago when I decided that a bare-bones FB account would be useful, I flipped my strategy to the accept everyone/post nothing one that I use currently.

Since my privacy isn't an issue, I guess I'll just leave my friend list as is and block a bunch of people from my newsfeed, and deal with a long, random, "who the heck is that?!" friend list.

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